Murdock’s Motor Garage

Murdock’s Motor Garage

Brothers Elford Edwin (Elf) and Charles William (Chook) Murdock’s business became known as Murdock Brothers, commencing operation at Point Turton in 1909 as contractors, cutting chaff and cleaning wheat. Elf and Chook purchased this block on the Main Street in June 1916. Elf, who had been discharged from the army as medically unfit in October 1915, built the shed you see now. The garage at Warooka became the base of the Murdock Brothers. On August 31st, 1917 a celebration was held in the new building for the unveiling of the town’s “Roll of Honour”. Stock troughs and water tanks were made at the premises and the brothers commenced the sale of farm machinery, motor cars, petrol, oil and even provided motor cars for hire. The youngest two brothers Samuel (Sam) and Daniel (Dan) Murdock joined Elf and Chook in partnership upon their return from service. The garage at Yorketown was opened in this period and is still operated by Elf’s grandson. In the years to follow further branches were opened in Kadina, Crystal Brook and Port Pirie. The Murdock Brothers sold over 200 cars, trucks and tractors as well as other farm machinery in 1924. This same year Sam decided to separate from the partnership with his brothers and began operating the Warooka garage on his own behalf. In 1950 Sam relinquished the Ford agency, ending an association started at Warooka in 1919. Jim Koennecke took over the operation of the garage after WW2 and Sam continued to run the adjacent hardware store until his retirement in 1974. Sam Murdock, Uncle Sam or Sammy to many, lived a quiet unassuming life, although he was always prepared to help anyone in need. Sam became a JP in 1937 and acted as the Coroner for the Warooka district for many years. A local legend in the Warooka community. He passed away in October 1986.